Michael Connor
Since 2002
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America



Caitlyn Jenner and the Facebook Real Name Policy


 

Protesters in Menlo Park yesterday. (Photo by Gareth Gooch).

Yesterday, Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to an eager public via a magazine cover, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. The Twitter account gained a million followers faster than the previous record-holder, Barack Obama, and the Facebook page garnered hundreds of thousands of likes in its first day. Coming a week after the news that IMG had signed Hari Nef (onetime host of Ed Fornieles's NY NY HP HP for Rhizome), the news heralded a new level of public visibility and acceptance for transgender people.


The irony of Caitlyn Jenner's Facebook popularity is that the social media site has such an unsupportive official stance toward name changes in general. The policy not only forbids creating profiles under stage names or personas or alter egos, it forbids profiles under any name that can't be backed up by a legal document, such as identification or a piece of mail. (The rules are different for Pages, such as Jenner's). Facebook is like the right-wing uncle who deliberately misgenders you, on principle. 


Now you can finally experience what it's like to commodify yourself on the internet


Last year, Rhizome awarded a $500 microgrant to Lena NW and Costcodreamgurl to create a game "that parodies celebrity status games (i.e. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood... but focuses on the concept of becoming an internet celebrity via social media." Their game is now here, and it carries with it one hell of a trigger warning: "graphic sexual violence, cultural appropriation, scat, bestiality, feminism, patriarchy, sexualization of school shooters, inconsistant use of fonts." Click here to play.

From the artists' statement:


Required Reading: Empathy & Disgust


 

Distaste or disgust involves a rejection of an idea that has been offered for enjoyment.

—Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, 1798

For the first time, this year's Seven on Seven will have an overarching theme offered to participants as a provocation: Empathy & Disgust.

Scene from Her

We chose this theme partly because of recent discussions about "affective computing," which aims to detect and respond appropriately to users' emotions. The field gained some visibility after the release of Spike Jonze's Her; writing for Rhizome, Martine Syms argued that the film could be read as "an elaborate product spec" for intelligent agents that can replace human relationships. Recently, a new crop of apps that function as "Intelligent Personal Agents" bring us a step closer to this future, while a more speculative app from Blast Theory offers a fully-fledged emotional relationship with a virtual character who gradually reveals herself to be "needy, sloppy, piteous, and desperate."

Some of the real-world research underpinning emotional analysis was discussed in New Yorker piece earlier this year, focusing on the work of Affectiva and scientist Rana el Kaliouby. The company is developing a tool called Affdex that can "make relable interences about people's emotions" based on video monitoring:

During the 2012 Presidential elections, Kaliouby’s team used Affdex to track more than two hundred people watching clips of the Obama-Romney debates, and concluded that the software was able to predict voting preference with seventy-three-per-cent accuracy.


Grappling with complexity, women in tech, and Leonard Nimoy: Perry Chen's Y2K


Screenshot of Leonard Nimoy in Y2K Family Survival Guide (1999). 

In December, Perry Chen organized a panel discussion at the New Museum (copresented with Rhizome and Creative Time Reports) exploring the phenomenon and legacy of the Y2K bug, as part of his ongoing project Computers in Crisis. Along with a presentation of books and video clips from the time, he assembled three Y2K experts to share their own experiences of preparing for 1/1/00, at which point many computer systems were expected to interpret the two-digit date as "1900" rather than "2000," with harrowing results. 



Discussions (82) Opportunities (1) Events (1) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Should we be capitalizing Internet?


The Rhizome style guide calls for the word "internet" to be written in lower case, but I have been continuing my normal practice of capitalizing it, maverick that I am.

To not capitalize it is more post-internet and cool. It suggests that the internet is not monolithic, but is many things; it suggests that it is an institution (like cinema or television) rather than a technical infrastructure. Heather is convinced that we should continue to not capitalize it.

I feel like capitalizing Internet is more techie and old-school, because in the 1980s there were other proposed "internets" that didn't really take off. So the Internet we use is a proper noun, referring to one possible network of many.

More context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization_of_%22Internet%22

Thoughts...?

DISCUSSION

Internet Real Estate, Art and Power: The cases of Artsy and .art


Hi Tom, I did read all of those posts while this article was in process, thank you for sharing them here. I think Orit added something new to the discussion through her bringing together of these two examples as indicative of a growing awareness of the underlying political structures behind the URL,

The article does indeed say "whoa, wait a minute." For example:
"But it also presents the organization with the opportunity to wield a kind of centralized power that seems incongruous not only with the egalitarian politics advanced through e-flux’s editorial, but also with the concept of the Internet as a shared resource."

Also: dotorg for life baby. I am, like you, skeptical that the GTLDs will change the face of the internet, but I don't think the article advances the ICANN party line. The point of Orit's Zola flourish was to suggest that there is serious money involved, a point I think you'd agree with.

Finally, the question of a gatekeeper vs curator is quite a tricky one. While I wanted to support Orit in asking critical questions about e-flux' stewardship of the .art domain, I am happy this didn't turn into a straightforward argument on behalf of deviantart's bid, which raises its own kind of issues.

A few years ago I wrote a text 'A Manual for the Twenty-First Century Gatekeeper' ... I admit that I was guilty of imprecisely defining my terms, but I would also argue that this follows common usage; the word 'curate' is now often used to refer to the act of selecting content.

One idea that came out of my research was that democracy tends not to be the most interesting process for the selection of artwork. The reason for this is that the selection or inclusion of an artwork typically tells an audience more about the selector than it does about the work. Selections made by large groups cannot be said to be more or less valid than those made by individuals or small groups, and they lack any sense of personal risk, of a passionate commitment made by an advocate on behalf of the work.

While I share your worry about the centralization of online art power in e-flux's hands, I also admire and enjoy their curatorial voice, and I'm not quite ready to throw my support behind deviantart...

In your post on the topic, your contrast between "web-based art culture" and the "gallery-based power structure" does elide some of these complexities. Granted, it was a short blog post, and I don't mean to nit-pick. But I'm glad that Orit chose not to offer up an easy resolution, because I don't think one exists.

DISCUSSION

EVENT

Definition I: Low-Res (Palazzo Peckham)


Dates:
Thu May 30, 2013 16:00 - Thu May 30, 2013

Location:
Venice, Italy

Rhizome's Michael Connor moderates a conversation with Hito Steyerl and Oliver Laric at Palazzo Peckham.

(The last bridge on the left at the end of the Garibaldi (the road between the Arsenale and Giardini!)


DISCUSSION

Jack Goldstein, GIF Artist?


Sounds like a great event..